“To finish first, first you must finish.” True enough. But before that, you’ve got to take your racing car, team crew and all its assorted paraphernalia sometimes 100s of miles from home to a circuit often lacking in many of life’s necessities (one British team in the 1950s would always travel with a keg of Watney’s beer…).
So, enter that noble automotive beast of burden, the racing transporter.
This book, recently published by Dalton Watson, tells the story of vans, trailers and lorries ranging in size from a VW Type 2 flat-bed with a Formula Junior stuffed unceremoniously in the back, to today’s leviathans parked with to-the-millimetre precision in an F1 paddock or at Le Mans.
They are all there: the Ecurie Ecosse Commer; pre-War Mercedes and Auto Union state-of-the-art fleets of service vehicles; a whole host of Bartolettis used by Ferrari, Maserati and Shelby Cobra; and all the scruffy converted coaches so loved by impecunious British privateers in the 60s and 70s.
I could go on. I hope you enjoy the three photographs here. The top one (© Porsche Werkfoto) shows factory support vehicles in Porsche’s famous maroon livery at the Nürburgring alongside a 356 Carrera GTL Abarth, the second (© BMW Group Archives) is a typical 1970s scene at Le Mans with the a works BMW CSL and its accompanying transporter with elevated viewing platform roof.
Finally, the black and white shot above (© Brian Joscelyne) is of Scuderia Serenissima’s rented OM car transporter carrying spare tyres and a slightly bent Ferrari 250 GT SWB. I would LOVE the original of that photo, but I'll just have to make do with this excellent book. Recommended.
'Inside the Paddock: Racing Transporters at Work' by David Cross with Bjørn Kjer costs US$89.00/£59.00.
Photos: STRICTLY COPYRIGHT - Porsche Werkfoto (top) / BMW Group Archives (middle) / Brian Joscelyne (bottom)